Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healthy Sloppy Joes and a Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer

I'm trying out a few new recipes this week. This one comes from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave cookbook. I bought this cookbook last year to assist Hubby and I in our journey to better health and fitness. If you aren't familiar with Ellie's work, she provides healthy and tasty recipes for dishes that are often not considered healthy. This book is pretty stinkin awesome. For those of you in doubt, you CAN eat yummy delicious food without consuming mass calories. Did I mention the food is still yummy and delicious? Without all the calories? Really, it is. I have tried and loved numerous recipes in this book. And now I can add another to the list. Sloppy Joes.

In Ellie's version of Sloppy Joes she recommends ground beef, 90% lean. I have nothing against beef. In fact I'm a big fan. But we generally don't stock beef in the house. But we do have endless supplies of boneless skinless chicken breasts, shrimp and even scallops on hand in our freezer for easy defrosting. All courtesy of Costco, by the way. Gotta give my props to Costco!

What does everyone automatically think of for a substitute for ground beef in recipes? Turkey. Ground turkey. I like turkey at Thanksgiving and occasionally on sandwiches, but I'm not really down for it in "ground" form. It just makes me feel like I'm sacrificing flavor and eating diet food. Not good. BUT, have you ever tried ground chicken? So, so, sooooo much better than ground turkey! In fact I've been making chili exclusively with ground chicken for the past few years. And it's a big hit with friends and family. In fact they don't even realize it's chicken unless you tell them. And I figured why not try it in Sloppy Joes. I think Ellie would be proud. ;)

Here's a tip on ground chicken. I learned recently that store bought ground chicken can be sometimes be worse than ground beef. Apparently they grind up some of the dark meat and fat in there too. So if you are buying it at the store, look for ground (boneless skinless) chicken breast. Or if you own a Kitchen Aide stand mixer....invest in the food grinding attachment. I love this add on! Once you have the grinder you can add on the pasta maker fittings to make homemade spaghetti, fettuccine and elbow macaroni. Anyway, it's a cinch to grind your own meat. Just slice it up in 2 inch slices and drop it in the machine.

I did make a couple of modifications to the recipe. Obviously I swapped ground chicken for the ground beef. I omitted the beans (it was feeling too chili-like). I added a few extra dashes of Worcestershire sauce and added my salt seasoning the food along the way at each layer rather than adding it all at the end. For the bun I tried out whole wheat sandwich thins (by Orowheat) for the first time. These save about 70 calories compared to a standard wheat bun. I liked the thin bun, but it's not quite as satisfying as a full fledged fluffy bun.

Hubby and I both gave this meal a thumb's up. Ellie's original recipe runs at 265 calories per sandwich. I have a feeling mine is closer to the 200 mark....which leaves plenty of room for lots of roasted vegetables, like Zucchini Parmesan AND dessert!

This recipe is packed full of flavor and fresh ingredients and is super healthy and delicious! Check it out here. Will I make it again? Absolutely!


  1. Ellie makes eating healthy pretty painless, doesn't she? I love that book, but I haven't tried this recipe yet - it looks great.

    Thanks for the tips on grinding your own chicken. I received the grinder attachment for Christmas and have yet to use it.

  2. I totally agree! I love Ellie's recipes. I just bought her new book, So Easy. Looking foward to trying out some new recipes.

    The grinder is great!